An Open Letter to Pat Robertson From a Former Student of Regent University

by Dr Mark Bear

A few days ago, Christian Broadcasting Network Founder, and leader of Regent University, sat down with the occupant of the Oval in the midst of the media frenzy over the latest details regarding the occupant’s son meeting with a Russian lawyer connected to the Kremlin.

The son, upon learning The New York Times was about to tell the world the truth about his meeting with a Russian lawyer, including a chain of emails that prompted that meeting, decided to finally tell the truth, or, at least his version of the truth, after several attempts.

READ: North Korean Missile Firing Demands More Than a Tweet

The current occupant of our Oval Office praised his son for being “transparent,” however, details of the story – specifically as shared by the son himself – through the email chain associated with that meeting, tell a very different story. One would think then, that Pat Robertson would have questioned the occupant of our Oval Office in strident fashion, but nothing like that took place at all.

I understand not all of my regular readers share my faith, or spiritual beliefs, however I feel compelled to provide you the response I left Pat Robertson. A response, I might add, which disappeared shortly after I posted it to their site:

“Pat, you lost any credibility you may have had as a man who represents the gospel. Oh, don’t get me wrong: the current trope of Believers will stick with you and blindly agree with your latest interview, but there is a reason for this: Preachers like yourself have made members of churches across this land passive, dependent upon the “preacher’s doctrine,” versus “working out their own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).  You have promoted a man who, in the past, has groped women’s private parts, as admitted to by his own lips. He has defrauded people from their hard earned dollars, always paying the people who worked for him, a tiny fraction of what was agreed upon. Surely, you have heard of the verse in I Timothy 5:18 which states: “The servant is worthy of his hire,” right? Surely, you have read the text where Jesus Himself tells His listeners in Matthew 5:28 “That whosoever looks on a woman to lust  and wants to sin sexually with her, in his mind he has already committed adultery with her in his heart?” Or, do you only believe these verses apply to “those” people, Pat?

In other words, the guy sitting in front of you, proclaiming Russia would have been happier with Clinton – when our own intelligence community says, and has been saying since last December, otherwise – is lying! He lied to get into office and is lying now. What does our good Book say about liars, again Pat, in Revelation 21:8? “ALL liars shall have their place in Hell….” Or again, do you only apply that to folks who you do not agree with you, say like Bill Clinton? You see, Pat: I was attending your school when you were making such a big fuss over Bill Clinton lying over his supposedly “not having sexual relations with that woman,” and I had agreed with you then. Back then, I was somehow able to ignore your ignoring Newt Gingrich’s infidelity on his wife, leading to his stepping down as Speaker of the House. My problem now? You do not seem to care one iota how the current occupant of our Oval Office violates the very Word we not only believe in, but preach to others, in nearly every way possible, yet you still provide him a sanctuary allowing him to lie yet again.

Pat, let me just cut to the quick here: I have worked for 15 years as a Senior Minister in one of the most conservative denominations in our country; Southern Baptist, and not one single time have I preached politics. I simply stand aghast that you really have no issue promoting the current occupant on your show, as though there is no spiritual deficiency. And it is here again, that I take issue with you and 81% of White Evangelicals who made a “conscious decision” to pull the lever “for” this man, when you had two other alternative choices apart from Clinton. THAT is what I cannot comprehend here, Pat.

Ephesians 5:11 specifically states Pat: “Do not participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them.” You? Well, you and folks like Kenneth Copeland, Robert Jeffress, Jim Baker or  any of the slew of other “evangelical pastors” openly “promote” the guy. You made the argument – leading so many other younger believers to rationalize their decisions – that “we ought to prefer an openly sinning President.” Others even justified their voting for the current occupant by stating, “we are not electing a spiritual leader, but a President,” as though this alone justified his mocking a disabled reporter, his demoralizing a female anchor from a major media outlet, his advocating depriving our own citizens of their liberty through his promised “ban on Muslims,” or his mocking a Gold Star family, whose son sacrificed his life for our freedom. What does the very Bible say about this issue, Pat? In John 15:13, Jesus said these words: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” But not this time, huh? No! Because in the case of the Kahn family, the man is a Muslim, and so apparently this issue alone disqualified the man who died for his friends, or the family who loved him so much, the honor normally provided by evangelicals for military who die fighting for our nation.  And honestly Pat, the list goes on ad infinitum.

Sadly though, your works from the past counter your current position. How do I KNOW? Because I witnessed your public statements about our former President, with my own eyes, Pat. You guys and the same crowd including Franklin Graham – had the temerity to question the former President’s “Christian” faith, when he exemplified precisely what our faith stands for. Don’t get me wrong: as with every other human being, he was imperfect, but at least he cared about the “least of these.” Ever take the time to read Matthew 25, Pat? Or, have you read it, and you no longer care what it says? Forgive me for asking such probing questions, Pat: But when I was becoming ordained as a Pastor I was told to “stick to the Word,” and “nothing else,” lest my ministry become imperiled.

I mean honestly Pat, how in the world can you explain to the Lord and Master you publicly profess belief in, while admonishing others to do the same, that you agree with the conservative’s argument on health care, especially given what the Bible states in Matthew 25:40, “If you have done it for the least of these, you have done it for me?” Let me be clear: The man you had on your show is the same man that advocates taking health care AWAY from over 32 MILLION people, as recorded in the CBO Report.  Why do you provide the very man who is giving to the wealthiest in this land, while taking from the poorest, Pat, a platform without even questioning him on this matter? Yet, you wonder why it is people do not wish to be associated with the modern-day Church, calling those people an “abomination?”  You cry out that YOUR religious freedom is being taken from you – as you did back when I attended your school – and for the life of me, Pat, I cannot see what you are referring to. I can attend the church of my choice on any given Sunday. I can pray in my home, should I wish to, with nobody stopping me. I can celebrate the holiday of Christmas in any manner I wish, and so can you or any other Believer in this nation do so, too! Your real issue Pat, is you want dominance! No, let me correct that last statement; you really do not ‘want’ dominance; you and the church leaders of our modern era, demand it.” Instead of leading lives which provide the fruit spoken of in Galatians 5:22-23, you want people who do not believe to simply agree with your understanding of biblical truth, while providing fruit which in no way aligns with the very gospel I spent 15 years preaching. And, what exactly is that fruit we should all exhibit? Paul tells us, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” But our nation was not founded upon a theocracy, nor were the Founders promoting a nationalized religion. From a governmental stance, this  makes sense, because how in the world can one force another to “believe?” From a theological stance, it is clear that the God I have believed in all of these years, does not impose Himself on others. He allows humans to have free-will, and choose which actions or behavior we shall engage in. He in no wise forces people to believe in Him. It is a choice, and a personal choice at that.

Compare and contrast this fruit with some of the most hateful and vitriolic things stated by the current occupant of the Oval Office, or even many of the things said in the name of Christ by some of our Preachers, and one does not need to ask why it is people in no way wish to be associated with the very Church we promote. Lest you forget, Pat: the very man who you had on your network, the man who has a track record of refusing to tell the truth, we are told by evangelical leaders is a Christian. My only question: Where is the fruit? And, when you promote this guy, what has happened to your fruit? Remember the words of the very person you publicly state your belief in, while admonishing others to do the same, Jesus in Luke 6:43: “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit...” 

When Believers behave in this manner Pat, we are nothing more than a wolf in sheep’s clothing. We have “exchanged the truth for a lie.” The saddest part Pat? You are leading potential folks – who ‘might’ otherwise consider the possibility that God exists, or that He rewards “those who diligently seek Him,”  from the very Word hundreds of thousands of other Pastors have preached, as well as myself – astray! You are leading the sheep to the slaughter, and yet, it appears you care little.  But you – as well as every other evangelical leader – should feel something, because even Isaiah tells us in 5:20: “Woe to those who call evil good, good evil.” And what are we to make of Jesus when He tells us, “Woe unto you who scatter the sheep?” He says, “It would be better for him to have a millstone hung around his neck and thrown into the sea” (Luke 17:2).

The truth of the matter Pat? We are dying, whether we realize it or not. It is a fact of life, Sir. We each begin our process of dying the very moment we are born. Failure to acknowledge this truth, especially for people such as yourself and myself – publicly professing belief in Christ – is foolish. Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes, “the day of death is better than the day of birth.” But what about the very gospel we represent? What about the modern-day Church? How shall it go on considering those who currently are part of it,  having somehow found nearly every rationalization possible for supporting a man, who has engaged in the acts I described, and continues to do so today?

Remember Pat, the words of Jesus: On that day many will say to Me, Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, did we not heal the sick, did we not cast out demons?” And what does Jesus say, ‘Depart from me; I never knew you!'”

Do you want to keep the current Administration in check with me? Would you like to assist in creating sensible change in our Nation? If so connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.  I hope to see you soon!

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45 Responses to An Open Letter to Pat Robertson From a Former Student of Regent University

  1. Michael John Scott Reply

    July 14, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Well, I’m not a religious person, on the contrary I’m a happy Atheist, and expect I will remain so, until the hour of my death when I will ask the priest for forgiveness, just in case. That being said, one of the things I hate about religion is the hypocrisy of it. The glaring, horrible hypocrisy that is so pervasive among the religious. Pat Robertson is a shining example of this hypocrisy, sprinkled with a dollop of downright crazy!

    • Dr. Mark Bear Reply

      July 15, 2017 at 10:35 am

      Hello Michael,

      It is indeed sad that we see so much hypocrisy abound, and yet, even I have trouble calling it out, lest I be looked upon as a person who judges. However, that seems to be the catch-phrase these days; “Judge.” But what I see taking place in the Church is their judgment of others, versus themselves first. In other words, and this occurred back when I served as a Senior Pastor, and, continues to this day. But the Church is not tasked with judging those outside of the Church, and I am quite sure, if the God I worship needs to get in contact with you, He will. Many in my faith accuse me of being a predestinating type of person, or Calvinist, but nothing could be further from the truth. I believe – not in being a witness with words – but deeds, and yet I KNOW I personally miss the mark here. I certainly hope and pray I in no way serve as a hinderance to whatever it is you wish to seek in life. Thanks for publishing my work, Michael!

    • Don Reply

      July 15, 2017 at 2:33 pm

      Dollop, my ass!

  2. Glenda Durell Reply

    July 14, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Again, Mark Bear, you have nailed the issue right on the head. I agree 100% with what you are saying. In fact, I have penned similar letters on facebook to several who are openly supporting our current resident at the White House, such as Franklin Graham and Joel Robertson whose books I treasure. To praise and laud those who profess the faith but show no evidence puts one on shaky ground as far as I am concerned. Keep up the good work. We need your truth more every day.

    • Dr. Mark Bear Reply

      July 15, 2017 at 10:31 am

      Hello Glenda,

      Yes, I have seen your posts and I applaud your efforts. At some point, evangelicals in the main are going to have to decide which is more important to them: governance and nationalized religion – because, trust me, that is precisely where this is headed – or allowing Pastors their rightful and obligatory role in the Church. Currently, it appears many are content with allowing politicians speak for their own flocks! Again, thanks for following my work so closely, Glenda. I truly do appreciate you, and our friendship!

    • Debbie Reid Reply

      July 16, 2017 at 10:08 pm

      Glenda I am totally with you .. reading this I was AMAZED and proud a Pastor had the guts to call this man out! I am embarrassed to have Trump in office and set bewildered as daily those that love him believe lie after lie!! Our nation has been compromised by this administrations Russian involvement and his base could care less. I often have to get off Facebook as I feel overwhelmed with all the craziness… we need more articles like this!!

      • Laurie Mcdowell Reply

        July 20, 2017 at 8:49 pm

        I’m not a believer, lost my faith many years ago. This letter moved me. This man said so many interesting and true things. This is what God teaches. Good for you Sir.

  3. Lyndon Probus Reply

    July 14, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    Sorry Mr. Bear but I’ve little respect for religion, regardless of the teacher of it. As to those teachers I find, present company accepted, most to be charlatans and shams, relying on an ancient book, written by wrinkled old desert dwellers, much as one in modern day would rely on the the words of Stephen King as gospel. Robertson, I will allow, is one of the worst. I did watch that awful interview with the bloated and shriveled, and was further embarrassed by the state of our nation, for the sake of two charlatans in the People’s House.

    • Dr. Mark Bear Reply

      July 15, 2017 at 9:09 am

      Hi Lyndon,

      Many thanks for chiming in. My purpose in addressing Mr. Robertson and writing this Open Letter to him, was not to proselytize, but to address a problem I see within the very Church I have served for over 15 years as a Senior Pastor. With that said, you are correct that charlatans and shams exist within our profession, however, I would be remiss to not point out that they exist in every single profession. What makes the issue all the worse in our profession is because we are not supposed to act in that manner, and yet, we still have the person who thinks the rules do not apply to them, but to every other person “out there.”

      I have observed membership rolls in decline for years now, with models of prediction from reliable statisticians, even within my circle of faith; George Barna being one of them, indicating that our future is bleak.

      Why is this? Because the very people who are supposed to be meeting the needs of those outside the church, seem utterly content to focus on theirs. It is this issue which I have addressed repeatedly in my writing, that I think hinders our modern-day church from growing, or moving forward.

      Whether one would be so foolish to use the words of Stephen King – that is out of one of his novels, is debatable, and questionable. The reason I say this is because “most” people who attend church are of a good nature, kind, and want to the “right” thing, however, during their time spent in the church, they have been led astray. Mr. Robertson, as well as myself will need to give an account for this one day; not you. Thank you again for chiming in, as I appreciate your insight to the matter.

  4. Cheryl Lynn Curtis Reply

    July 14, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    Great article based in scripture! As much as it is time to take our country back, it is equally time to pair our faith with integrity and intellect.

    It will take decades to repair what these “Christians” have been doing, using their religion for power and power for religion. Now is a turning point for citizens of the United States and those who truly follow Jesus Christ.

    • Dr. Mark Bear Reply

      July 15, 2017 at 9:14 am

      Hello Cheryl,

      Precisely! It WILL take years for the repairs to be completed here. For some odd reason, the modern-day church has decided to get involved in political aspirations. My thoughts as to why this has occurred, is because of the ease of which their theistic agenda can then be acknowledged by all, but as you and I both know, this is not how our nation works. We cannot go around telling the world that we have the singular interpretation to all things spiritual, that we alone understand what “God really means,” while casting aside others because they do not see it our way. This is not the way Jesus won others to Him, and I suspect that even then, back in His day, as is evidenced by Scripture, the Pharisees – the religious and political rulers of the day – were livid that He came to liberate man from his predicament. For them, it was all about the outside, while for Jesus, it was what was on the inside. Perhaps we can rebuild with this understanding, versus getting short-term compliance to an evangelical worldview versus long-term change due to Jesus Christ Himself, working in the hearts and minds of people. Thanks for taking time to respond, Cheryl! I am glad you follow my work!

  5. Pam Gilder Reply

    July 14, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    I applaud the article, based not so much on the quoting of ancient texts declared by Constantine and the senate as “holy scriptures,” but for his courage in writing it. What you say is true vis-a-vis Pat R. He’s lost his way, and he lost it about 20 years ago.

  6. Deborah Avelis Reply

    July 15, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    How refreshing to have someone else articulate my feelings and beliefs.

    • Dr. Mark Bear Reply

      July 17, 2017 at 7:53 am

      Hi Deborah,

      Glad to have assisted. Hope I earn your following me. Be well!

  7. carter Reply

    July 15, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    About time some one tells it like it really is.

  8. Anne Miller Reply

    July 15, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Thank you for saying what I have been thinking. Amen

  9. Melanie Frey Reply

    July 15, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    Finally!!! A true Christian who voices what many of us believe…that, as Christians, we can NOT possibly align with the folly of the Republicans who only profess to, but do not follow, the Word of God! There is no possible way I CAN,in good conscience, agree with supported such a horrible human being like Donald Trump.

    Thank you for putting “our voice” out there!

  10. Rhonda Stimson Reply

    July 15, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    It has been a very long time since I stepped away from the Christian Church, pretty much because of the hypocrisy I experienced while being a member. I was baptized in a Southern Baptist church by a pastor who was later forced to step down due to several instances of drunk driving. But that didn’t shake my faith. What finally did was when one of my best friends at the time, and was also baptized in the same church, lost his father. I called the deacon of the church to let him know that one of the congregation needed prayer and support from the church family, and all he and his wife were interested in was whether or not I knew someone who played piano for their little gospel band. Not a single soul from that church came to support my friend in his hour of need, besides me and another woman who had gone to school and was friends with both of us. I walked away and never looked back. Since then I have met many Christians who follow the teachings of Jesus, but I have met just as many who fall way short. I don’t think I would ever be able to go back to the church, but I have the feeling, had I had a pastor like you, I would have never had a reason to walk away in the first place.

  11. Rosa Reply

    July 16, 2017 at 12:42 am

    Great letter! Finally, someone else sees what I have seen in religion in America. Religion is nothing but a business in this country and unfortunately many of the followers believe every word that comes out of people like Pat. How they can justify themselves is unbelievable to me.

    • Dr. Mark Bear Reply

      July 16, 2017 at 4:19 am

      Hello Rosa,

      I must confess that your analysis of “religion in this nation,” is spot on. The Church was never meant to be a “business,” however, it appears even when I was working full-time, that this is precisely how many inside the church dealt with matters, all under the auspices of “we need to keep the books balanced and not overspend on our budget.” While those latter points are true, we were and continue to be a “ministry,” meaning we serve the needs of our community. As I have shared here, and in other venues, whenever the people inside the church care more for themselves versus the needs of those outside the church, it is not only problematic, but allow me to call it what it really is; Sin!

      While true that we must disciple those within the church, meeting the needs of our members, if we solely focus on that aspect, we surely lose any impact we may have had in the community.

      Take a look at our Mega-Churches across this land, Rosa! On any given Sunday, you can walk into one of these edifices and find yourself in line to purchase your morning coffee, donuts, or even breakfast. You can – should you desire – during the sermon, pass your children over to “Church-Volunteers,” only to see numbers flashing – the very numbers assigned to parents to be contacted should the “day-care worker” fail in being able to meet the needs of the child (the child is crying, causing difficulty, etc).

      Once Service is over, in many of these churches you can then participate in the church luncheon, whereby the kids can go play in the multi-thousand dollar gymnasium built just for this purpose, or in some churches, go to the church bowling alley.

      In other words, we have taken even the concept of Church and allowed the consumptionist and affulenza stricken values of our society to populate the church. Please note: It is NOT the presence of these amenities which makes the church seem like it is part of the world, per se, but the manner in which we deal with them. Put another way: it isn’t necessarily the size of the building which serves as the major problem here, but the concomitant approach to ministering to those within our community as well as that particular mission driving that particular church. When the Church looks like the worldly possessions we own, those especially in younger stages of life, find themselves asking, “why should I attend?”

  12. Debbie Reply

    July 16, 2017 at 3:35 am

    Thank you for sharing this letter. “Scattering the Flock” is exactly what seems to be happening. I have heard “this is God’s will – it’s supposed to happen this way”. But I’ve asked myself – shouldn’t we still call evil by its real name?

  13. Lisa Reply

    July 16, 2017 at 7:24 am

    Hi–
    Thank you for expressing the issue of the president (and the issue with national “Christian leaders”) so clearly. But there’s more to the problem.
    Even folks who say the “held their noses” and “voted for the platform” have failed to realize that the Party they support, endorsed by the American Evangelical movement (I dare not call it Christianity), is at the root of this foolishness, not just our current administration.
    What say you about the Party as a whole?
    (I’m not, for the sake of brevity, going to ask about the Democrats. They have a mess of their own to clear up, and it resembles the Agaean Stables…)

  14. Monty Thornburg Reply

    July 16, 2017 at 7:59 am

    Politics and DEMOCRACY are a good alternative to war and killing. However, at the core of politics is an attempt to “kill off” an opponent using politics: verbal assaults, virtual assaults, symbolic assaults, etc., and some are NOT ETHICAL. The founding fathers of our nation understood that there needs to be a SEPARATION between Church and State … Ethics and Religion, I believe, can inform politics and should … but, indirectly through an appeal to ones conscience and appeals to rationality. Thanks for this Christian explanation and interpretation about what’s going on here.

  15. Lawrence Kocen Reply

    July 16, 2017 at 8:22 am

    Dr. Mark Bear,
    Typically I have a problem reading lengthy articles, but your piece really cut to the chase. I am not of your faith, I am a Catholic and have many friends of different faiths including a Baptist pastor as well. With this said I have no ax to grind with any person that believes in our blessed Lord, Jesus Christ. All I can say is that the evil one is working very hard these days to ruin our Christian way of life in this country and we need to pray extra hard to overcome his, the devil’s works and ask our Blessed Lord for his protection. Thank you for your article.

  16. DeWaun Reply

    July 16, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Thank you for the courage to speak the truth. I was raised in a cer conservative penecostal church later moving to the South Baptist church with my the husband. I treasured the i dept bible study and the preaching from the word of God that I experienced growing up and in my young adilt life. The church if today seems more interested in experiences, than service. I remember the Pharisees doing the same thing, more i terested in the show than the walk which produced the fruits of the spirit. We need a revival, that good old time preaching of the word, for we know that it God’s word is the illuminator of sin, not man. The church of today serves as a side show rather than a place of worship. Jesus did not call his followers to political activism against Rome, rather he called them to follow him.

  17. Carol Reply

    July 16, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Thank you for sharing your letter… It is spot on…what is happening in our nation is horrible… so many are getting hurt in the process… so many who claim to be Christians are so far from the truth… filled with greed and selfishness…..it’s like they have forgotten their first love… Jesus… He wants an intimate relationship with each one of us.. God is love, mercy and forgiveness…and this is how we need to
    respond and treat each other… There is none of that in the White House anymore or in many churches across America…sad… because they are missing out on what life is truly all about…

  18. Nancy Rodnski Reply

    July 16, 2017 at 11:20 am

    While I am not fond of what I call “man’s religion” I do believe in the Ten Commandments as a sound set of guidelines for living your life. I believe in truth. You kind sir speak truth! I respect that. That is a rarity for today’s pretend Christians. Bless you for your courage.

  19. Dave burlingame Reply

    July 16, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Dr. Bear, my Virginia Southern Baptist pastor has never once mentiond politics from the pulpit. He is a proud graduate of Southern Seminary and is heartbroken at the sycophantic attitude of too many prominent Evangelicals. (BTW, he prefers “evangelistic” to “evangelical.” Not sure I get the difference). I admire him greatly. I grew up in Rhode Island as an American Baptist. My great x7 uncle, Thomas Burlingame, was the tenth pastor of the First Baptist Church in America, founded in 1638 by Roger Williams and still a vital part of the Providence religious community. I am not entirely comfortable attending a SBC church, but the Virginia Baptists are a pretty moderate bunch (with a couple of pretty well-known exceptions) so I can live with it. I concur with every word of your letter and admire your courage. Best wishes, Dave Burlingame

  20. Suzanne Shawhan Reply

    July 16, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    I watched the entire interview. I understand the writer’s angst & strong words; there was something the writer seems to have missed…I thought I saw fear in Pat R’s eyes……intimidation & Mortal, Human Fear.
    Isn’t it possible for, even a “Man of God” to be afraid sometimes?
    I didn’t get the feeling Pat Robertson wanted to or had anything at all to do with putting that interview together.
    Many/Most interviews are quite staged-especially for people who hold offices in high places.
    I’m not in disagreement with Bear’s strong words nor am I in disagreement with his angle. I’m simply beginning to wonder how Much of MY LIFE I have missed out on because I gave much, if not most, of my Own Personal Power to Think for Myself over to “Men of God.”
    My own Daddy was a Preacher for a Southern Church. And I do think people often forget – if not excuse themselves – for their own erroneous thinking, by claiming that they have been trying to live God’s Ways…..I have been “Following Men of God” I used to believe.
    I’m beginning to believe in very simple terms. And simplification isn’t so bad after all.
    Pat Robertson may just be a Regular Guy, following somebody else’s orders. He could just be a puppet.

    • Dr. Mark Bear Reply

      July 17, 2017 at 6:01 am

      Hi Suzanne,

      Your response is quite a powerful example of what I am discussing in broader terms, and should have addressed in my piece. Many people attending Church on a weekly basis, DO live the lives they have been TOLD to live. This is precisely why I believe Paul tells his hearers at the Church of Philippi to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

      If you look closer at Philippians 2:12, you can easily see that Paul was advocating for his listeners to continue “living the gospel” not only in his presence, but in his absence as they were doing. We can also note that Paul does not tell those listeners to live the gospel in accordance to what the local religious leader TELLS them to believe and live, but to work it out on their own.

      And there is good reason for this, Suzanne. Blindly following another human being can, and often does, lead one astray. Finally, Paul’s admonishment also highlights the fact that he himself realized he need not be present for those within that particular church to work this matter out on their own. Salvation is personal and I always encourage people to compare what is being taught from the pulpit – or stated – with the Word making the decision for themselves.

      The good news is you are aware now of how much influence is wielded from those in authority, and you seem quite able to discern for yourself the voice you really need to hear. Thanks for contributing here. ~Doc

  21. Tricia New Reply

    July 16, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    You have exactly articulated my thoughts. I am horrified that the words, “Evangelical Christians” is being held hostage next to lies and sleaze.

    • Dr. Mark Bear Reply

      July 17, 2017 at 6:17 am

      Good Morning, Tricia,

      You and I seem to share the same concerns here, specifically as it relates to placing the term “Christian” next to the label, “Evangelical.” Sadly, it was not always this way, however, during the eighties I believe Ralph Reed and Jerry Falwell along with Ronald Reagan and his realization that evangelicals comprised a large segment of the conservative base. This realization has led down an extremely dangerous path for all who publicly identify as “Christian,” and the current situation is a premium example.

      What does one do when the entire movement – I speak of evangelicals publicly throws their support behind a man such as the current occupant? It simply removes credibility first off, and those who are not part of the faith wonder to themselves, often aloud, “if this is what these people are all about, I want nothing to do with them.”

      Additionally, as a result of this marriage – if I may be so bold as to call it that – by extension, the evangelical base owns the very agenda the radical conservatives have adopted which sounds so harsh. Who really wants to take away health care from 38 million people? Who would want to see people who have paid into social security for years, lose their retirements due to privatization? And then, on top of all of this, is the “least of these,” whom we are commanded to be concerned about.

      It all makes for a very difficult situation. Finally, I want to make certain I am clear: Even I take a risk of being political while addressing these concerns, however, it is my belief that somebody from the Church had better begin speaking out, lest the church loses all relevance in our modern era. Thanks for contributing and reading my work!

  22. Len Goforth Reply

    July 16, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    I can see why your letter was removed.

    When writing, make your opening statement and keep it brief. This should prepare for paragraph 2, where you elaborate on paragraph one (you’re opening statement)

    Paragraph 3 should reiterate paragraph 1, and come to a demand, wish, or statement of what consequence paragraph two either creates or requests.

    Your letter was too long.

    • Dr. Mark Bear Reply

      July 17, 2017 at 2:35 am

      Hello Len,

      Many thanks for your constructive criticism. As I stated when introducing the piece on Facebook, this letter certainly exceeds what I would normally write in either an article, or letter. While you have an erudite point regarding the mechanics of the piece, I would point out that this is not a “normal” letter under any circumstances. In addition, I would also like to make clear that when my “letter” was picked up here, I had a shortened and consolidated version of the one presented here, and it was that version which was removed.

      Finally, if you had seen – at the time of drafting this and my subsequent submission of it – the responses on their site, they were at fifty-nine, with not one single negative comment about Mr. Robertson’s interview, and his lack of questioning the current occupant of our Oval Office, on the blatant inconsistencies regarding his son meeting with that Russian lawyer. In other words, my suspicion is the shortened letter was in fact, removed due to it not marrying with the ideology which the site, network, Pat Robertson, and the current occupant’s followers espouse.

      However, much gratitude – once again – for you pointing out one possibility as to why the shortened letter was removed and your providing me this constructive criticism. I wish you nothing but a great week! ~Doc

  23. D Willam Reply

    July 16, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    Excellent piece. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!

    Evangelical Christians are committing egregious abuse of Christianity worldwide especially in nations where people have little education or where cultures and traditions dictate way of life. Take Africa for instance where US Evangelical Pastors go to countries in this continent to preach hate instead of Love. They encourage those people to hate others based on differences in sexual preference. Pat Robertson like Graham, is an evil, greedy, charlatan. What a shame that the masses listen to these types of people instead of people like President Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama et al who are showing us how a true Christian should behave.

    • Dr. Mark Bear Reply

      July 17, 2017 at 5:44 am

      Hello D,

      It is interesting that you bring this facet of the issue up because for years I have argued that our modern-day Church has gotten things sort of twisted with regards to sharing the gospel. Allow me to explain:

      If we are going to live by the very Book we claim we were led to Christ from – it is clear that Jesus tells His disciples in the Book of Acts 1:8, the following:

      “But the Holy Spirit will come upon you and give you power. Then you will tell everyone about me in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and everywhere in the world.”

      Several thoughts emerge from this text: First, we are to take care of our own house first and foremost, because Jesus tells the disciples to be witnesses first in Jerusalem, then Judea, and then to the rest of the world. The denomination I served always had missionaries going around the world, and while I find that occupation admirable especially due to the secular education or health services provided in several cases, you will rarely find a missionary who goes to “witness” in other nations first and foremost. When I use that word, I should explain what that means in church parlance for the reader: local churches have turned that word “witness” into “let’s meet once a week and go out to our community and TELL others they NEED Christ.” But underneath this is the goal of getting that person to join that local church, and while it may be admirable for this goal to be realized, why not cut to the chase and knock on a person’s door and be honest about what one is really there for? You see the difference?

      Put another way: In all of the years I served as a pastor, I never once saw a single person go to a person’s home, tell them they need Christ, and then say, “oh, just go to any church you feel led to go to.” The underlying goal, as I said, is always to get that person to join the church. This becomes problematic, especially should these people be led to a church wherein the leaders of the evangelical movement have been co-opted by political agendas.

      Moreover, think of those missionaries serving in countries, giving their lives and hearts, only to have these evangelical leaders endorsing the current occupant of our Oval Office. What kind of additional stress or danger does this place them in? Think of that “Muslim Ban,” and the current occupant making clear his intentions to ban “Muslims” from our nation? With 1.6 BILLION Muslims around the globe, with many living in Africa, how is a missionary supposed to function and do his job of providing for one’s physical, emotional, and then spiritual needs?

      Finally, we must keep our own House in order here, if we expect to have the remotest impact on others. It simply doesn’t work to say one thing, while doing another.

  24. John Waddell Reply

    July 17, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Hello Pastor Bear,
    This article is the first I have read by you. THANK YOU so very much for giving voice to my thoughts and belief. I am a Christian since 2009. Was raised in the Southern Baptist Church but found our Savior in a non- denominational church. Praise the Lord for this article. I personally am a Democrat, even though I don’t agree with all of their views. Your article is EXACTLY what I have been saying about this man since 2015. PLEASE continue to reach out to all, especially the bigoted conservative right. Thanks again for such great opinion, I am sharing this on my Facebook page. Where can I read more of your thoughts? Any books?

  25. Anne Reply

    July 18, 2017 at 4:27 am

    This letter is such a refreshing reminder that there ARE those who embody religious faith at its very best. I admire the fact that you have a working moral compass and the compassion for the least among us that are so sorely lacking in Pat Robertson and other so-called spiritual leaders. The kind of rank hypocrisy it takes to embrace a president who embodies none of the morality that these folks expect others to possess is mind-boggling. But it does show that Robertson and his ilk are about political power while they hide behind religion.

    • Monty Thornburg Reply

      July 18, 2017 at 6:38 am

      Anne: Spot on!

    • Dr. Mark Bear Reply

      July 19, 2017 at 4:44 am

      Hello Anne,

      This has been an enlightening moment for me as it demonstrates to me, at least, that there ARE people who are simply wanting what is right in this nation to take place, and attend their church, only to come up empty, due to the co-opting of “Christians” in churches across this land, by a political entity. We all know that Jesus Himself – according to the Word – was not supportive of the religious rulers of that day, the Pharisees, and in fact, went out of His way to expose their darker side.

      Being careful not to paint with too broad a brush here, the reality is we see the presence of Pharisee minded people throughout our churches. Often, I find myself questioning myself as to whether I am helping or hurting the church by being involved in the politics of our day.

      Thank you for chiming in here.

  26. John S Williams Reply

    July 18, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Pat Robertson is a dope. Wait a minute, that’s not true! Pat Robertson is a loopy old dope. Better.

  27. L. Walton Reply

    July 20, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    I wish to hear more from you, please.
    What you wrote to Mr. Robertson and the other charlatans gave me hope that others like me are out there. Dr. Bear thank you for reaching out in a true Pastor’s way! To let us know there are more of us than we think! With no requirement of affiliation to religion!

  28. Ms. Kirk Reply

    October 2, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    Dr. Bear,
    As a student at Regent University I am extremely torn. I don’t agree with the views of Mr. Robertson so now I feel that I have made a mistake with the University. Can you offer any insight on how I and other students can move forward in this situation.

    • Dr. Mark Bear Reply

      November 1, 2017 at 10:58 am

      Good Morning, Ms. Kirk,

      My most sincere apologies for not responding to you sooner than today. I just happened to check in on the piece today to determine whether more responses were made so I could readily respond, only to find out you placed this here on October 2, 2017. I sincerely do ask your forgiveness.

      I think this is a matter best discussed with me in private, for a few reasons. First, if you look at Google and type the following; “Dr. Mark Bear Pat Robertson” you will see that your search yields my article as first even over Mr. Robertson’s university. The reason this occurred is due to the sheer volume of hits this piece currently has garnered, which can lead to not only you but me being open to litigation, something I do not wish for you to have to worry about, nor myself. I presume you are using a User Name which can in no way be tracked back to you which will protect you, however, it still will not protect me from any libel suits.

      The safest way for you to accomplish this task is to send me a personal message in Facebook, versus me placing yours or my email in this response for the above reason.

      However, if you do contact me in the Facebook platform, your name can remain anonymous, especially should you set up an account with the same User Name you are using here.

      I would also recommend you connect with me, lest your message be sent to my “other” file because the algorithm Facebook uses makes that decision for us, versus our deciding for ourselves. As the Owner of this site, Michael John Scott will tell you, I respect privacy and will honor confidentiality. I never abuse my connections nor post anything on ANY of my connection’s Walls. I say this only to alleviate any fears you may be experiencing regarding contacting me in Facebook.

      However, if you remain concerned over connecting with me, I will make it my goal to check my messages or notifications daily if not more to ensure I am not missing you.

      This matter is quite delicate, as you well know. You are already – I presume – enrolled in a graduate program and decisions like these require a bit of thought, for example, where do you plan to attend if you leave the current program?

      I should also make clear that I am interested in your exact program and your expected graduate date. I am aware of a litany of students who have returned their earned degrees back to Mr. Falwell from Liberty University, with little to no affect. At the end of the day, however, you need to do what is best FOR YOURSELF. If you believe employers down the road might hold your place of being educated in low-esteem, then you obviously DO have some critical evaluation to engage in.

      Case in point: Regardless of Mr. Robertson’s reputation, his law school is well-recognized for the academic qualities of the program. It may be that many will overlook the etiology of your degree if your program is from this school, however, either way we both are making a prediction here.

      So do contact me at your earliest as I request above so I may provide you with counsel which is premised on responding versus reacting. I hope to hear from you soon, and do again ask your forgiveness.

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